November  30,  2012       The  Honorable  Eric  H.  Holder,  Jr.   Attorney  General  of  the  United  States   950  Pennsylvania  Avenue,  NW   Washington,  DC  20530-­‐0001       Re:    Colorado’s  Legalization  of  Marijuana         Dear  Mr.  Attorney  General:     On  November  6,  2012,  Colorado  voters  passed  Amendment  64,  a  statewide  initiative   that  makes  it  lawful  for  any  adult  to  possess  up  to  one  ounce  of  marijuana  for   recreational  use.      Passage  of  Amendment  64  has  left  considerable  uncertainty  for   employers  and  businesses  in  Colorado  with  regard  to  their  legal  rights  and   obligations.    At  a  time  when  the  Colorado  economy  is  successfully  emerging  from   the  most  recent  economic  downturn,  enjoying  certainty  in  our  business  decisions   will  assure  continued  growth  in  our  economy.      

The  Colorado  business  community,  as  represented  by  the  signatory  organizations   noted  below,  seeks  clarity  from  the  Department  of  Justice  with  regard  to  your   intentions  to  enforce  federal  law  under  your  prosecutorial  discretion.         The  provisions  of  Amendment  64  are  in  direct  conflict  with  the  Controlled   Substances  Act  (CSA)  and  other  provisions  of  federal  law.      The  CSA  clearly  states   that  federal  law  preempts  state  law  when  there  is  a  positive  conflict  between  the   two  jurisdictions.1      Furthermore,  Amendment  64  violates  the  Supremacy  Clause  of   the  US  Constitution  as  well  as  our  government’s  treaty  obligations  ratified  by   Congress.2      

Consequently,  we  encourage  the  enforcement  of  the  CSA,  to  provide  the  certainty   and  clarity  of  law  we  seek.         In  2010,  you  took  a  firm  and  aggressive  position  opposing  California’s  Proposition   19,  the  Regulate,  Control  and  Tax  Cannabis  Act  of  2010,  an  initiative  similar  to   Amendment  64.      In  an  October  13,  2010  memorandum  to  DEA  officials,  you   specified:  “Let  me  state  clearly  that  the  Department  of  Justice  strongly  opposes   Proposition  19.  If  passed,  this  legislation  will  complicate  federal  drug  enforcement   efforts  to  the  detriment  of  our  citizens.    Regardless  of  the  passage  of  this  or  similar   legislation,  the  Department  of  Justice  will  remain  firmly  committed  to  enforcing  the   Controlled  Substances  Act  (“CSA”)  in  all  states.”    You  stated  further  that  if  California   voters  were  to  approve  Proposition  19,  the  Department  of  Justice  would  “vigorously   enforce  the  CSA  against  those  individuals  and  organizations  that  possess,   manufacture,  or  distribute  marijuana  for  recreational  use,  even  if  such  activities  are   permitted  under  state  law.”       Today,  we  ask  that  you  and  the  DOJ  remain  consistent  in  your  commitment  to  the   CSA  and  federal  law  to  provide  the  bright  line  we,  as  employers  in  Colorado,  seek.     The  uncertainty  created  by  Amendment  64  is  causing  direct  harm  to  Colorado   businesses  and  is  primarily  based  on  not  knowing  how  the  conflict  between  federal   and  state  law  will  be  resolved.    DOJ  is  the  only  party  that  can  provide  clarity  with   regard  to  this  matter.  Receiving  this  clarity  before  the  end  of  the  calendar  year,  or   indeed,  prior  to  the  possibility  that  employees  and  others  can  legally  (under  state   law)  possess  and  consume  marijuana  is  critical  for  Colorado  businesses.     Thank  you  for  your  prompt  attention  to  this  matter.     Sincerely,                   Tamra  Ward,  President/CEO     Sandra  Hagen  Solin,  Executive  Director  

Colorado  Concern      




Northern  Colorado  Legislative  Alliance  


Mark  Latimer,  President/CEO     Associated  Builders  and  Contractors   Rocky  Mountain  Chapter               David  May,  President/CEO       Fort  Collins  Chamber  of  Commerce    

  Steve  Foster,  President/CEO   Colorado  Technology  Association  



  Sarah  MacQuiddy,  President/CEO     Greeley  Chamber  of  Commerce    

Diane  Schwenke,  President/CEO   Grand  Junction  Chamber  of  Commerce               Rod  Slyhoff,  President/CEO   Pueblo  Chamber  of  Commerce  

    Joe  Raso,  President/CEO     Colorado  Springs  Regional  Business   Alliance                     Eric  Berglund  ,  President/CEO     Upstate  Colorado  Economic       Development  Corporation                   Tony  Milo,  President/CEO       Colorado  Contractors  Association  

Walt  Elish,  President/CEO   Northern  Colorado  Economic     Development  Corporation  


  Spenser  Willwock   International  Electrical  Contractors     Rocky  Mountain  Chapter  

  Tony  Gagliardi,  CO  &  WY  State  Director     National  Federation  of  Independent   Business  

  Bonnie  Peterson,  Executive  Director   Mindy  Moree,  President/CEO   Club  20           Loveland  Chamber  of  Commerce       Don  Childears,  President/CEO     Ryan  Schaefer,  President/CEO   Colorado  Bankers  Association     Chrisland  Commercial     Colorado  Auto  Recyclers  Association   Douglas  County  Business  Alliance       Attachments:         Letter  from  Attorney  General  Eric  Holder  to  Former  Administrators  of  the  DEA  (Oct.   13,  2010)       cc:   The  Honorable  John  Hickenlooper     Governor     State  of  Colorado       The  Honorable  John  Suthers   Attorney  General   State  of  Colorado     United  States  Attorney  John  Walsh   District  of  Colorado     Rebecca  Blank   Acting  US  Commerce  Secretary       The  Honorable  John  Morse   President  of  the  Colorado  Senate-­‐Designee       The  Honorable  Bill  Cadman     Colorado  Senate  Minority  Leader     The  Honorable  Mark  Ferrandino     Speaker  of  the  Colorado  House  of  Representatives-­‐Designee     The  Honorable  Mark  Waller   Minority  Leader  of  the  Colorado  House  of  Representatives-­‐Designee     The  Honorable  Mark  Udall   US  Senate     The  Honorable  Michael  Bennet  

  ______________________________________________   121  U.S.C.  903,  Pub.  L.  91-­‐513,  title  II,  Sec.  708,  Oct.  27,  1970,  84  Stat.  1284   2Article  4(c),  Single  Convention  on  Narcotic  Drugs  (1961);  See  also  Convention   Psychotropic  Substances  (1971).      

US  Senate     The  Honorable  Diana  DeGette   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Doug  Lamborn   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Mike  Coffman   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Ed  Perlmutter   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Scott  Tipton   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Jared  Polis   US  Congress     The  Honorable  Cory  Gardner   US  Congress    


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